Reflections on the A to Z Challenge 2018

My theme for the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge this year was careers and occupations. I had all my posts written and scheduled before the end of March as I was going away for at Easter and the challenge began on Easter Sunday. Because of this I missed adding my early posts to the daily lists, but I don’t think that affected the number of views. I had linked up with a few participants on Twitter using the Master list, which I found helpful. There were not as many signed up this year as in the last few years. I wonder whether that is partly due to blogging being less popular generally.

Reflections in a beck

Reflections in a beck

I had time to visit quite a few blogs. The list below is not complete, but these were the ones I found the most interesting. Because I missed the beginning of the challenge, there are others, I’d have liked to keep up with, which I have yet to visit. One is a haiku puzzle, another is French phrases. I haven’t caught up with Hilary’s blog about Canada either. It is harder work to read about unfamiliar places, than about those nearer home. http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/theme-reveal-aspects-of-british-girl-in.html

http://dustingthesoul.com/ A to Z about Lewis Carroll’s books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (favourites of mine)

http://mainelywrite.blogspot.co.uk/ poems inspired by Maine vanity plates (car registration plates) by Donna JT Smith

http://quagmire53.blogspot.co.uk/  April Hoeller with lots of lovely photos.

https://scr4pl80.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/ Janet’s smiles – a blog I discovered after the Q post invited us to share our links. I commented that mine ‘might put a smile on your face’ and Janet visited. Like me she enjoys craft and her posts are about a large shop crafters would enjoy.

https://bobscotney.blogspot.co.uk/ a veteran A to Zer, who chose British rivers this time.

https://stephenyhoughtlin.com/ Bookshops

http://artistpath.wordpress.com/ two words and a poem by Sue Viseth

https://lynnelives.wordpress.com/ sketching Peterborough Cathedral. I have followed Lynne through earlier A to Zs.

https://tossingitout.blogspot.com/ The blog of the A to Z founder, Arlee Bird. This time about decluttering or not!

https://auntyamo.com/ A member of the Association of Christian Writers looking at Christian fiction. Although she hasn’t had time to complete every letter, her blog is still worth visiting.

https://theartistsdate.blogspot.co.uk/ A to U of Art Journalling by Zannie

https://lapidaryprose.wordpress.com/ Women writers (some better known than others)

http://jemimapett.com/blog/ inspiration for her writing

http://www.su-sieeemac.com/ commented on my blog towards the end of the challenge. Her theme is similar to mine, but her context is different.

https://evelyneholingue.com/ French phrases

https://wordwacker.wordpress.com/ Haiku puzzles

Thanks once again to Arlee Bird for inventing this challenge and finding the time to visit and comment, also to Damyanti Biswas and others for their encouragement on G+ and J Lenni Dorner for retweets. http://www.damyantiwrites.com/ http://jlennidornerblog.what-are-they.com/ and to John Horton for the WordPress simulcast and ironing out technical problems with that and Facebook. https://thesoundofonehandtyping.wordpress.com/ and to Jeremy for the badges http://www.beingretro.com/

Thanks also to the A to Zers and other blogging friends, who visited Sue’s Trifles and liked, rated or commented on posts.

Also to those, who linked to this blog or a specific post including https://nikisthoughts.wordpress.com/2018/05/04/meet-greet-a-z-challenge-edition-2/ and http://mrsdashsayss.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/tontwi-to-z-survivor.html

One disappointment was that no clicks to Bible Gateway were recorded in my WordPress stats.


P is for Pop-singer

Once again I have picked a theme for the A to Z Challenge. This time I aim to entertain rather than to educate. My theme is careers or occupations. I begin with a piece of creative writing.

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Poppy and Paul are Pop-singers. They picked The Prunes as their band-name. Perhaps that was not a good choice. They always thought pop-singing would be a plum job, but their plans could wither on the vine – or the plum tree. Perhaps if they had practised the piano and percussion they might have made better progress in their chosen profession. Practise makes perfect, but aspiring pop-singers should not be in too much of a rush to leave paid employment for what might be a precarious existence. This is from the perspective of pessimistic pairs of parents. Perhaps a pleasant surprise is a prospect.

Further reading: Pop music

Pop songs are often remembered more for the tunes than for the words. The words of songs of praise, lament, and even complaint against God have lasted for thousands of years. The Book of Psalms, sometimes known as the Psalms of David (although others wrote many of them) is a great resource for study and prayer. I recently tweeted about each of the 150 Psalms; then I took a break from reading a psalm or part of a psalm each day. I missed the psalms after a few weeks and began to include them in my daily quiet time once more. (I first began to read them regularly five or six years ago.) #psalmtweets


The effect of our decisions on the environment

This post is a bit of a rant. Holy Week is a time for serious thought! I wondered what to write about this week, for publication on Maundy Thursday.

The Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge is about to begin. I haven’t finished reading any books, so a What I read post is not possible. So here is something I feel strongly about. The size of the problem is overwhelming. However if everyone did a little to reduce their use of plastic and synthetic materials, it would make a significant difference.

I have taken part in two organised beach cleans in the past few months and picked up litter on other occasions, putting plastic bottles and drinks cans in recycling skips. It is well-known that litter finds its way through inland waterways to the oceans.

There is a huge campaign against litter, plastic and other forms of pollution, which are damaging wildlife, especially marine life. The proliferation of hashtags relating to these issues bears witness to its reach on social media. Here are a few:-

#Plastic, #PlasticFree, #PlasticPollution, #BanPlastic, #PlasticKills, #PlasticFreeCoastlines, #2MinuteBeachClean, #StopThePlasticTide, #SurfersAgainstSewage

What I really want to highlight in this post is how our decisions regarding items we buy can also affect the environment. Much clothing is manufactured from synthetic (similar to plastic) material. It is interesting that plastic items may be recycled as polyester fleeces, for example. Not enough recycling takes place. In any case, we are warned that washing polyester clothing results in microplastics being released into our waterways.

Natural fibres are more friendly to the environment. Bamboo is a relatively new source of fibre for clothing and as a replacement for plastic drinking cups. Wool, cotton and silk are more traditional natural fibres, at least in the UK.

Consumers have rights, protected by law. For example, if goods are faulty they may be returned to the retailer for a refund. I wonder what the retailer does with the faulty goods. It is not cost-effective to repair a seam, which has not been stitched during manufacture, for instance. I suspect the goods are either sent for recycling or binned, ending up on land-fill sites.

It might be better for the environment to waive the right for a refund and repair the faulty item oneself. Of course there are many considerations. Safety may be an issue sometimes, but not in the case of finishing off an unfinished garment.

How do you react to the pollution problem? Have you changed your habits since this became such a high profile issue?